Tag: OMGINsider

December Newsletter: 2013 in Review, ASL Style


Happy December! I know every year has 12 months, yet this year  seemed to have gone by in a flash!  I use to keep better track of the seasons, and time in general,  during those “parenting years”.  Back then I knew what month it was by which PTA project I volunteered to do.  October was the Halloween parade, December was buying teacher holiday gifts, and so on.  Now that my kids are grown and my status is that of having a “low occupancy home”, I realize  that I must  resort to keeping track  of time the old fashioned way- by using the Calendar app on my ipad!    Which explains why the alarm went off yesterday with a reminder that read:  “WRITE ANNUAL YEAR IN REVIEW BLOG TODAY”.

I know myself too well,  so I set another alarm and it went off  today with a bit of attitude  as the reminder message  read – “YOU FORGOT TO WRITE YOUR ANNUAL YEAR IN REVIEW BLOG – DO IT NOW!!”

So here it goes…  Nearly 4800 people have found our SIGNING FAMILIES  Facebook page.  I have used this social media page to help people to learn about sign language  (ASL) and the deaf community.  I also focused during the year on issues regarding Autism, Down Syndrome and education.  Then I sprinkled a hefty dose of humor, inspiration and giveaways!  We grew and grew with more than a thousand new friends joining us!


Surprisingly, one of the most popular posts  was that of Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter.  In an effort to improve awareness about sign language usage in the United Kingdom, Daniel was asked to pose with a simple sign that asked readers to learn how to sign GOOD MORNING.  I found this article interesting and posted it, too.  WOW – what a response!  In fact, worldwide this campaign went “viral”.  I was glad our little “hamlet” could participate.

As with every good company, we were busy adding products and also revamping our website to reflect the change in how people do business online.  Our SIGNING FAMILIES website now offers online downloads for workshop attendees, more interactive elements and our newest product, the SIGN LANGUAGE EMERGENCY CHART  in American Sign Language with captions in English, Spanish and Mandarin (simplified).  Why did we create a quadra-lingual product? Simply, First Responders asked us to do so to help those with access and functional needs (AFN).  Plain and simple.

photo 4

This card has found its’ way in to thousands of emergency vehicles, uniforms and disaster response shelters nationwide. We were the most proud to have been able to donate many to our friends in Oklahoma, where I visited following the awful the series of tornadoes they experienced last May.  I invite people who work as emergency personnel to email me if you wish to learn more and to receive a complimentary copy:  Louise<at>Signing Families <dot> com.

It would be remiss of me to forget to mention that, it has been an honor to have met via workshops and conferences scores of  our First Responders, including CERT / NERT members. These people bravely  go towards disasters when most of us would flee.  I hope that my disaster preparedness and response workshops gave food for thought to all who attended as I know you all taught me so much, too!


imageMeeoMiia came to us during 2013 to let us know that they were so  inspired by our logo and wanted to use it as a basis for their newest LOVE necklace. We were thrilled!  And, to celebrate we gave one as a giveaway to one of our subscribers!

It seems that wherever life takes me, including to events via OmgInsider or 411 VOICES I find people who are willing to take a few moments and give some love – ASL style. I posted some of my favorites photos below for you to enjoy!

It is no secret that social media overload can happen to anyone.  I am humbled that you found your way to this little ‘ol blog and read it to the end. Feel free to add your blog url below or to comment. Thank you and…


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Why the OMG! Insider “Twitterati” helped Lori Loughlin become a TWEETER! (And.. how you can join Twitter, too!)


This week I had the privilege of joining other social media “influencers” at the OMGInsider studios to help actress Lori Loughlin (FULL HOUSE, 90210) lose her “twitter virginity”.  It was a fun morning and also a good time to formulate my thoughts on explaining Twitter to others. (Watch the episode of Lori sending her first tweet to John Stamos here >> LORI’S FIRST TWEET)

So, in my effort to provide an educational spin on the social media phenomenon known as TWEETING.. I will provide you now with the 411 as I know it.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social media platform that in my head is like a giant gathering of people.  Some have common interests and some don’t.  You may not wish to engage in conversation with everyone, but,  it can help shine a spotlight on a person’s agenda, pop culture, business savvy or philanthropic causes.  It also is “social” – meaning it can lead to true relationships where you actually meet and not only tweet with people.

Twitter is not for anyone who doesn’t like to share or is not trusting of what they read.  It also is not for people who are finger happy and feel the need to tweet about every thought that crosses their mind space.

How to start on Twitter?

First you must decide if you wish to join Twitter and which name best explains your brand. Perhaps it is your name or your company name. My twitter handle is @LouiseASL  – it is my name Louise and my business endeavor American Sign Language or ASL.  In my bio, I explain about myself and love for ASL.. hopefully people make the connection.

Note.. use some caution with Twitter names. One person thought my Twitter was Louise ASS… oops..

Once you have decided on your name and a succinct bio be sure to upload a photo that is flattering and close up. DO not upload your account with the Twitter EGG. That just means that you are a newbie and not worth being taken serious.

Then what to do?

Use the search feature to find people of like interests or trusted news providers. Perhaps you like to follow authors, celebrities or people well known in the Twittersphere.  And of course, if you are respectful and like to be amused go ahead and follow me here>> @LouiseASL 

Rules of  the Twitter Universe

Twitter has a long list of rules that you will need to agree to before you send your first tweet.  But, here are some that one must also follow unless you wish to be a lone wolf on Twitter or part of a nasty thread of “meanie” tweets.

DO NOT SPAM others.  You spam me and I press UNFOLLOW or BLOCK in a flash

TWITTER is not where you get to “out” someone or bully.  Anyone who bullies by writing negative tweets, even in 140 characters or less” is despicable in my opinion. We need to play by the rules of kindergarten.. starting with “play fair”.  (Here are the basics of kindergarten rules as outlined by author Robert Fulghum, in case you forgot> RULES)

– Be gracious, humble and thankful. If people retweet your blog articles thank them. If they give you a nice shout out – thank them.  Want to be forgotten on Twitter- don’t engage with others or be thankful.

Learn to say it in 140 characters and use shortcuts such as TYVM (Thank You Very Much) or GR8 (GREAT)

Who should I follow and who should I not follow

Before you press FOLLOW check out the person.  If they have very few or NO ONE following them then race for the Twitter hills! These people are most likely spammers.  Also, note that people with only a few followers may be a person that is well known, they are often marked as a “verified account”.

What are verified accounts?

@OPRAH verified (with a blue check mark after the name) means it is her real account and not someone who is using her name in the hopes to get Twitter love from others.

Can you make money or get “stuff” from Twitter

Well this is a topic for another blog.. but if you wish to read up on how to use social media for marketing and branding then go to these reliable resources and read their numerous articles about social media marketing.




Does it cost anything?

No Twitter is FREE. But, if you are mean, bully or spam others it could cost you something more valuable – your reputation!

Who are the TOP people with the most followers on TWITTER?

This list is always changing. But, here is a recent tabulation.  It may surprise you!  TOP TWITTER ACCOUNTS

What about this PINTEREST that I hear so much about?

OY.. come back another day to read a blog about Pinterest!

Happy Tweeting!!

A day at the OMG! Insider studio with fellow twitterati.  Follow them on Twitter at @ThePartyGoddess @xoxoLizza @LoriLouglin @ArmyYoga @DailyDimmick @SandyAbrahms @JerylJagoda @TinaPR @LoriMoreno @CupcakeD and @Omginsider and @LouiseASL, of course

A day at the OMG! Insider studio with fellow twitterati. Follow them on Twitter at @ThePartyGoddess @xoxoLizza @LoriLoughlin @YogaArmy @DailyDimmick @SandyAbrams @JerylJagoda @TMoorePR @LoriMoreno @CupcakeD and @Omginsider and @LouiseASL, of course



TOMORROW, April 2, 2013 is
LIGHT IT UP BLUE for AUTISM AWARENESS.    So, it is my pleasure to introduce you to SWEET CRUSH ICE, a Los Angeles based dessert company who will be helping to give back to the Autism community with every taste of their incredible low-fat dessert on this special commemorative day!

What makes this the perfect synergy is that SWEET CRUSH ICE is a healthy, low-fat dessert with gluten free, lactose free and sugar free options. It even is certifed Kosher.  Flavors range from creamy vanilla, chocolate, espresso and coconut (to name a few) to non – dairy options such as guava, strawberry-lemonade (the kid favorite) and lychee (exquisite and so unique!)


I first met, Yael Lustman, owner of SWEET CRUSH ICE at an OSCAR party given by OMGInsider.  This high energy entrepreneur impressed me so much with both her business savvy and her delicious sweet product that I invited her to be my guest on the 411 VOICES radio network SPOTLIGHT show.  (Click here to listen to our interview).  What I discovered is that Yael didn’t want to skimp on the taste of her shaved ice  nor the quality of her storefront (Which rocks with non intrusive changing lights and ipads which take photos of happy customers!).  All this truly shows from the moment you enter the SWEET CRUSH until you take the last bite of this naturally flavored shaved ice with oodles of toppings sprinkled with Asian flair!  I thought it would make the prefect place for kid birthday parties or ladies’ night out.

During our interview I discovered that family and wanting to do “more in life” was what prompted this once Wall Street attorney to leave it all behind for the long hours and the trials and tribulations of owning a food based business.  Yael shared her pearls of wisdom on air (won’t give away too much here), as she stressed that the smiles of people young and old and the versatility of owning a community shop gives her much joy and feelings of accomplishment.  She also mentioned that without the power of social media she wouldn’t have met as many connections resulted in garnering the attention OMGInsider and the OSCAR committee.

If you are looking for a company that provides something yummy, healthy and has a heart for giving back to the community please check out SWEET CRUSH ICE.  Address is below. Conveniently located next to Whole Foods in Brentwood.

Help them LIGHT IT BLUE for AUTISM on APRIL 2nd!  A portion of their proceeds on this day will be donated to local Autism charity.

11753 San Vicente Blvd. · Los Angeles, California · 90049  MAP

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Note: I received nothing more than a groovy t-shirt and free Sweet Crush Ice to sample in exchange for this blog.

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